The quadrennial international men’s association football championship Copa America, which is set to take place between June 14th and July 7th will be the 46th edition of the tournament, featuring 12 teams from two confederations fighting for glory and the title of the champions.
Featuring some of the strongest international football teams in the world alongside names such as Lionel Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Edison Cavani and others, Copa America 2019 surely won’t leave us, the spectators indifferent as it promises to provide us with exciting matches, a great football atmosphere and the world’s best footballers doing their best to bring home the trophy and glory for their country. With the tournament fast approaching, let’s jump right into the most important information we need to know ahead of Copa America, including the format, teams, venues and of course who are the favourites to go all the way and win.
Where will Copa America 2019 be held?
The 2019 Copa America was original to be hosted by Chile, while Brazil was going to host the 2015 Copa America. This was due to the CONMEBOL rotation policy which states that tournaments are held in alphabetical order. However, due to the organization of 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, which were all held by Brazil, it was decided that the 2015 Copa America will not be hosted by Brazil. This meant Brazil and Chile had to swap their order, which ultimately meant it’s now Brazil’s turn to host Copa America.
As another interesting fact. the 2019 Copa America will be the final edition of the tournament played on odd years and with 12 teams. Starting in 2020, the tournament will be played in the same year as UEFA EURO 2020.
VENUES and TEAMS
As it was announced in June 2018, the Copa America 2019 will be hosted by 5 cities and on 6 different stadiums. The opening match between Brazil and Bolivia will be played at Estádio do Morumbi in São Paulo, semi-finals will be played at Arena do Grêmio in Porto Alegre and Estádio Mineirão in Belo Horizonte, while the grand finals are set to take place at the famous Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro.
Cities and stadiums which will host the tournament:
-Rio de Janeiro; Estádio do Maracanã (74,738 capacity)
– São Paulo; Estádio do Morumbi (67,428 capacity) and Arena Corinthians (49,205 capacity)
– Belo Horizonte; Estádio Mineirão (58,170 capacity)
– Porto Alegre; Arena do Grêmio (55,662 capacity)
– Salvador; Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova (51,900 capacity)
At first, the tournament was planned to be played with 16 teams, by inviting six teams from outside CONMEBOL. On March 16th CONMEBOL announced the invitations were sent to three teams from CONCACAF and three teams from AFC. However, by May 2018, CONMEBOL announced, the tournament will instead be played with 12 teams, which would be the same number as the previous editions of Copa America. The two guest teams that accepted the invitation to appear in 2019 Copa America were Japan and Qatar, who will test their strength against Latin American teams in the months to come.
As an interesting fact, Qatar will be the first-ever Arab team to appear in Copa America, while Japan will be making their 2nd appearance and the first since 1999. Additionally, the 2019 Copa America will be the first ever tournament not featuring any team from CONCACAF, being that Mexico, who competed in all ted editions since 1993 and USA, who participated in four tournaments will not appear in 2019 edition of Copa America.
How many teams are in Copa America 2019?
With Mexico and USA not participating in the upcoming Copa America, the addition of Qatar to the tournament and return of Japan, the 12 teams that will compete are:
GROUPS and FORMAT
The 12 participating teams were drawn into four pots, each with three teams which took into the account their FIFA World Ranking. The draw then allocated the teams into three groups, with the 3 teams from pot 1 being put in separate groups, 3 teams from pot 2 into a separate group and so on. With that, the three groups consist of one team from pot 1, one team from pot 2, one from pot 3 and one from pot 4.
The three groups and teams participating in it are as follows:
Group A: Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela, Peru
Group B: Argentina, Columbia, Paraguay, Qatar
Group C: Uruguay, Ecuador, Japan, Chile
The format of the group stage will give each team one chance to play against all of the other 3 teams. In other words, the teams will compete in a round robin format. Once the teams finish with the group stage only the top 2 teams will advance directly into the knockout stage, which will be joined by two of the best performing 3rd placed teams out of all three groups.
Copa America 2019 Schedule
- 15 June 2019 02:30 CET – Brazil vs Bolivia
- 15 June 2019 21:00 CET – Venezuela vs Peru
- 18 June 2019 23:30 CET – Bolivia vs Peru
- 19 June 2019 02:30 CET – Brazil vs Venezuela
- 22 June 2019 21:00 CET – Peru vs Brazil
- 22 June 2019 21:00 CET – Bolivia vs Venezuela
- 16 June 2019 00:00 CET – Argentina vs Colombia
- 16 June 2019 21:00 CET – Paraguay vs Qatar
- 19 June 2019 23:30 CET – Colombia vs Qatar
- 20 June 2019 02:30 CET – Argentina vs Paraguay
- 23 June 2019 21:00 CET – Qatar vs Argentina
- 23 June 2019 21:00 CET – Colombia vs Paraguay
- 17 June 2019 00:00 CET – Uruguay vs Ecuador
- 18 June 2019 01:00 CET – Japan vs Chile
- 21 June 2019 01:00 CET – Uruguay vs Japan
- 22 June 2019 01:00 CET – Ecuador vs Chile
- 25 June 2019 01:00 CET – Chile vs Uruguay
- 25 June 2019 01:00 CET – Ecuador vs Japan
The knockout stage
The knockout stage will feature 8 teams going head to head in quarter-finals. Unlike the semi-finals and finals, the quarter-finals will not feature extra time if the match is tied after 90 minutes, but it will instead go directly into a penalty shoot-out. The teams facing each other in the semi-finals are as follows:
Winner of Group A – 3rd Group B/C
Runner-up of Group A – Runner-up of Group B
Winner of Group B – Runner-up of Group C
Winner of Group C – 3rd Group A/B
FAVOURITES to win Copa america 2019
Brazil enters the 2019 Copa America s the favourites to win it all. With odds of 2.10 offered for them to go all the way and win their 9th title in history and 1st title since 2007. the Brazilian squad are well ahead of any other team, regarding the chances to lift the trophy. Argentina are currently priced at 4.75, while it’s Uruguay who are the 3rd most likely to win with odds 8.00 offered on them. The difference between the teams is quite big and while it may come off as a surprise, the relatively low odds on Brazil are justified. Failing to live up to the expectations in 2018 World Cup, when Brazil lost to Belgium in quarter-finals, the team led by Tite enters Copa America with an exciting set of young players (Arthur, Lucas Paquetá, David Neres) which are expected to prove their worth in the upcoming weeks. The team is clearly set to build a team for the future, which ultimately means there is no real expectation for them to bring the title home, however, looking at their team, they have got plenty of reasons to be positive. The team is filled with young promising players, as well as older, more experienced players and to top it all off, Copa America will be played on their home ground. While the home advantage might be disregarded, we cannot look past the fact that Brazil won all the 4 Copa America tournaments which were held in Brazil. There are arguments to be made that Brazil are not as powerful as they once were, however, the quality of the players and home advantage will surely be more than enough for Brazil to keep the trophy at home and win the first title in 12 years.